The "I" word

Impeach President Bush?

Ideologically, I've never been more than a lukewarm supporter of the president, as I'm a libertarian who has simply learned to swallow my pride, hold my nose, and vote for what I perceived (rightly or wrongly) was the best way to slow down socialism at a galloping pace -- at least back down to the old days of what was once called "creeping socialism." Now that Republican Party has become the Party of God and Pork, I honestly don't know. I vacillate between remaining a RINO, and going back to being a DINO. The problem is that the Democrats are full bore socialists -- more so than ever before, and their party is the party not of a Big Tent, but of small multicultural tents. Worst of all, the Democrats are dominated by activists -- and I hate activists (not as individuals, but in the collective sense). They have transformed our personal lives into political litmus tests, and worse. True, there are plenty of activists in the GOP, but there also remain a lot of ordinary people -- the type who work for a living and don't enjoy staying up till 2:00 a.m. just to hear themselves scream about core issues. In balance, the Republican Party contains more people who just "get it" -- they understand that government tends to be the enemy, and the less government the better. (All this seems irrelevant to the impeachment issue, but hell, it's background.)

Anyway, because of my tendency to look towards the dark side, I always suspected that Bush would face the possibility of impeachment during his second term. After all, there was Iraq, abu Ghraib, the "war crimes" business, and steady drumbeats from the Bush=Hitler crowd, and I figured maybe some small scandal involving a White House aide might morph into a coalition uniting the various pro-impeachment forces. Still, I took it as a given -- a complete no-brainer -- that the impeachment movement would be on the left.

Amazingly, it's not. It's the rage on conservative talk radio, and the idea of impeaching the president has gained such traction in the conservative blogosphere that leftist bloggers like Glenn Greenwald are positively gloating.

Beyond that link, I don't want to get into names or specifics, but these are bloggers I like, and I'm just not terribly comfortable disagreeing with bloggers I like. It makes me feel like too much of a nit-picky activist.

But trust me. Bloggers I consider friends want to impeach Bush.

Not that there's anything new about friends who want to impeach Bush. My leftist friends (and I'm talking about people I love) have been Bush haters for years, and they've long considered impeachment as the ultimate wet dream.

As I said in a previous post, I don't think there's much chance of a serious coalition to impeach the president involving both the left and the right, because they'd have to agree on specifics. And let's face it leftists are not going to vote to impeach Bush for undermining the territorial sovereignty of the country, and ratting out the Minutemen. Trust me, It. Just. Won't. Happen.

Before I go any further, I'll restate my own position on immigration. The border has been completely out of control for many years, and I support not only closing the border, but building a fence. I oppose amnesty of any sort, as I think even the present muddled status quo, terrible as it is, would be better than rewarding illegal border crossers.

But what the hell difference does it make what I think? I am not running the country, and I long since gave up on any idea that elected officials -- Democrat or Republican -- are going to do what I want them to do. Being a libertarian of any shade means, simply "forget about it!" Low political self esteem is the only way to avoid being driven crazy.

Unfortunately, this leads me to get a little tired of the constant moral outrage and political hyperbole by activists who just can't understand why they're not getting their way. Sometimes it annoys me that being heard has to do with who shouts the loudest, and that's what I most like blogging.

YOU CAN'T SHOUT ANY LOUDER THAN THIS!!

Yeah, I guess you can add political hyperbole.

THIS IS THE WORST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!

Or cuss words:

THIS IS THE WORST GODDAMNED THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE F*CKING LIFE!!

THIS GODDAMNED BUSHITLER IS THE WORST F*CKING PRESIDENT THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER HAD IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC, AND HE MUST BE IMPEACHED NOW!!

But you can't expect to win that way.

I speak as someone who has seen many, many "worst things that have ever happened" for many, many years, and often the worst thing that ever happened was the worst thing that ever happened since the last worst thing that ever happened. And many times, that last worst thing happened just the day before today's latest worst thing, which would turn out to be the worst thing that ever happened until tomorrow's worst thing.

Not that anyone gives a rat's ass, but I mean it when I say that the border should have been closed. Not today; yesterday. Not yesterday, but last year. Ten years ago. Even twenty years ago. There are said to be 12-30 million illegals in the country right now, and the way people talk, you'd think that they all just waltzed in since the election of Bush.

How many aliens were here in 2004? A lot! It was a huge problem then. I was aware of it, and I wrote about it in January of 2004:

This sounds ominous to me, because I am a staunch believer in the United States Constitution, which so many (Americans or otherwise) would casually disregard to promote their view of a greater world good. Were it not for the Constitution, the unique freedom it secures would not be in such abundance as to be taken for granted and diluted by globalism.

Is it possible that uncontrolled immigration is a foot in the door for creeping globalization which will ultimately threaten our constitutional freedoms? I worry that things may be approaching that point. International legal precedents are openly solicited by Supreme Court justices despite the Constitution's very clear language defining it as the supreme law of the land.

What's especially remarkable is that even though immigration has been out of control for many years, it wasn't even a blip on the political horizon during the 2004 election. CNN's voter exit polls didn't even list it as a concern.

And now it's an impeachment issue?

Who'da thunk it?

As for me, I still want to get rid of big government statism, preserve the Constitution, reverse the course towards socialism, legalize drugs, and end bureaucratic tyranny.

The president is not doing any of these things, either. And often I forget to complain. I'm probably too old.

Whoa. Did I forget about Iraq too? Or Iran? Sigh. I should probably stick with one "I" word at a time. But I can't, because I've already talked about immigration and impeachment -- and that's two "I" words.

Well, hasn't Bush already been indicted? An indictment might not be the moral equivalent of an impeachment, but it's a start.

Where's my outrage? some might ask. Have I no serious and righteous moral indignation? (Ouch, there went another "I" word!)

Seriously, I mean, this immigration impeachment stuff is serious business, so how could I not be more indignant? I think it has to do with the fact that there are so many things to get upset about that my indignation is all spread out, like a vast sea of unorganized paper. Added to that is the nihilistic nature of hyperbole. When outrage is everywhere, outrage is nowhere. I'm therefore feeling all outraged all the time, with nowhere to go, and it strikes me as a little too easy (and a little too illogical) to stuff all of my outrage into one basket.

I'll just have to sit the impeachment out.

Hope this doesn't make me a traitor.

Again.

UPDATE: While he doesn't call for impeachment, longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie makes some good points in arguing that conservative Republicans (as distinguished from Big Business) have tolerated too much for too long:

Conservatives tolerated the No Child Left Behind Act, an extensive intrusion into state and local education, and the budget-busting Medicare prescription drug benefit. They tolerated the greatest increase in spending since Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society. They tolerated Bush's failure to veto a single bill, and his refusal to enforce immigration laws. They even tolerated his signing of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance overhaul, even though Bush's opposition to that measure was a key reason they backed him over Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in the 2000 primaries.
The piece is well worth reading as an indictment of the Republican leadership by conservatives, although some of it reads like a passive-aggressive endorsement of a Hillary Clinton presidency:
Sometimes it is better to stand on principle and suffer a temporary defeat. If Ford had won in 1976, it's unlikely Reagan ever would have been president. If the elder Bush had won in 1992, it's unlikely the Republicans would have taken control of Congress in 1994.
Not that I'm surprised.

I've long suspected many of the same people who hated Bush but couldn't admit it also want Hillary to be president but cannot admit it.

It's always tough to want what you hate.

MORE: Rick Moran says the Viguerie piece "set some kind of standard for petulant huffiness." (I guess everything becomes standardized eventually.)

posted by Eric on 05.23.06 at 07:41 AM










Comments

I think you're right. Every President we've had going back to, and perhaps including, Washington violated the constitution in shocking ways and betrayed the trust of the people. We can't exactly impeach *everybody*, can we?

Adam   ·  May 23, 2006 11:38 AM

I'm torn. There's a part of me that says what matters are the institutions of our government, not the individual people and it's healthy to periodically let the individual people know just how expendable they are. There's another part of me that says we elected him and, come hell or high water, we should live with the choices we make. OK to impeach him for actual criminal behavior, but not for following or enacting policies we dislike, no matter how much we dislike them.

I mean this in a general way--all politicians. I don't really care much about the immigration issue. I mean, yes, law breaking is wrong and legal immigrants should get preference above illegal immigrants; it's just that as an issue, immigration is not at or even near the top of the list of things that bother me.

tim maguire   ·  May 23, 2006 1:10 PM

Please join the MurphyCorps volunteers tomorrow for a Day of Action in response to President Bush's visit to our area to fundraise for Mike Fitzpatrick. Learn more here: http://murphy06.net/blog/2006/05/murphycorps-day-of-action.html

Anonymous   ·  May 23, 2006 4:23 PM

Hmm. Let's see...

"The 2006 budget, which Mike Fitzpatrick voted for, drastically cut funding to a number of programs affecting people and organizations throughout the 8th District."

Yay! Good! OK, I'll support that guy...oh. You want me to support his opponent.

Nevermind.

Jon Thompson   ·  May 24, 2006 12:12 AM

"high crimes and misdemeanors"

when someone can show me the LAWS GW has broken, then we'll talk

I'm fatigued with the way too many of my fellow political conservatives have fallen into the childish hissy fit stance lately.

GROW UP or be prepared to lose the White house and congress for another 40 years.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm in CA and the thought of botox Pelosi as Speaker of the House makes me break out in hives.

Darleen   ·  May 24, 2006 12:47 AM

A lot of people are thinking that losing Congress may be a deliberate strategy.

Eric Scheie   ·  May 24, 2006 8:36 AM

Eric: Well, it sure might be a strategy, I suppose.

I can't imagine it being a wise one, though.

I join Darleen, further, in wishing to remind people calling for impeachment that impeachment requires some sort of charge, and a specific, legal one at that.

"Bush is bad" won't cut it, Leftists. Nor will "I assert Bush lied about something", either. (For that matter, it's very much debatable that an undeniable, proven lie, even to "the people", would be a criminal act. It took perjury to get an indictment for Clinton, and that was with a hostile majority in Congress... and it still failed dramatically. Without a war on.)

And "Bush isn't doing what I want regarding immigration" is, likewise, neither a high crime nor a misdemeanor.

Sigivald   ·  May 24, 2006 5:16 PM

Heh. Coyote Activism, Eric. I suspect that Republicans [and a lot of libertarians] are going to chew their legs off so they can jump *into* the trap this november and in 2008.

Speaking as a long, LONG time anti-socialist, the answer to corrupt Republicans ins't "democrats".

[I'm not sure what the "answer" is, exactly, but I suspect that it involves lots of rope and utility poles... and it's a bi-partisan solution.]

It is kind of bizarre watching the politics of suicide on the Right. And it's even more bizarre watching how fast this immigration issue morphed into The Pressing Issue of Our Day!!! suddenly, outstripping terrorism, economics, gun control, constitutionality, pork barreling, LEO abuse, tax reform, entitlement reform, cutting government growth... and any number of things I can see as pressing concerns for actual "conservatives". [Assuming there is such an animal any more]

Ironbear   ·  May 26, 2006 4:19 AM

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